Imagine a place so far up North that it sits above the Arctic Circle’s latitude. A majestic place of rugged landscapes, where imposing, jagged granite peaks melt away into glorious beaches, a place where arctic wildlife lives side by side with the people of the fishing villages.
Imagine summer as one long, graceful day of sun, and cosy winters aglow with the ethereal aura of the northern lights. A place where timeless tranquillity meets the vast horizons of remote land. Imagine it, and you have conjured the paradise of the North, the crown jewel of Norway’s countless natural marvels, the country’s best-kept secret: the Lofoten Archipelago — a set of idyllic islands on the northern edge of Norway.
Locations such as this call for fitting places to stay, because magnificent scenery requires stunning architecture. So forget your usual, plain inns: seek out unique abodes, edifices in conversation with their surroundings, special spaces that make your visit even better — like one of the exceptional stays we’ve selected, below.
The Manhausen Cabin
To the southeast of Lofoten, set over a humble 14 acres overlooking the Grøtøyleia strait, Manhausen is an island of miraculous beauty. The Manhausen Sea Cabins are designed to harmonize with their setting: a natural, stoic interplay of metal and glass, these single-unit dwellings jut out over the sea on stilts or perch on the rocks beside the shore. Clad in pale, untreated wood on the inside and out, the cabins were designed by architect Snorre Stinessen and seem as if a part of the rock face, their tilted lines imbued with the gravitas of their host environment. Cabins open out and expand towards the sea as if to establish unity, and the floor-to-ceiling windows, like a glistening metaphor for the water, only heighten the effect.
Inside, you will find minimalist, essential furnishings, so you can keep a steady focus on the exterior that seems to always be in the room with you. The main building, the centre of gravity, offers a surprising contrast: built in the style typical for Norway and especially for the region — a modern, comforting log cabin anchored in-between the residential units. The Manhausen Cabins provide a serene, private way for guests to connect with the otherworldly surroundings and live as one with this exceptional piece of nature.
The Arctic Hideaway
An architecturally stunning collection of five separate, eco-friendly cabins on the island of Sørværet, The Arctic Hideaway was conceived by jazz musician and composer Håvard Lund and designed by a local architectural firm Fordypningsrommet. Nestled on the edge of a tiny island in the Fleinvær Archipelago, the cabins are a dramatic juxtaposition of Scandinavian traditionalism and a very nordic sense of innovation.
These holiday homes are authentic and expressive in their simplicity, putting the focus on the breathtaking scenery just outside. Strategically placed across the terrain, each cabin offers implausibly glorious, unobstructed views of the ocean and the nearby islands, virtually commanding you to unplug and revel in the beauty around you.
The cabins were completed with a slight, refreshing touch of industrial aesthetic, where the sparing use of metal reflects the minerals found in the earth here. The daring use of sustainable wood shingles on the exterior call to mind a fish, a clear and purposeful continuation from the surrounding water to the land. The lines of the facades protrude at unexpected angles that are evocative of the stark peaks surrounding the property.
The ten houses were designed in conjunction with two architectural firms— TYIN Architects and RintalaEggertson Architecture — who lead a series of workshops with architecture students from all around the world to dream up the cabins. This is the perfect space from which to explore the island and the eternal peace surrounding you.